The Robot Apocalypse

The End of the Human Race

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With the rise of Artificial Intelligence evolving, researchers and scientists are becoming more advanced with the branch of AI. Robots are beginning to look more like human beings and mimic the things humans do every day e.g. picking up things or waving. Strong AI is theoretical artificial intelligence that matches or tops human intelligence- the intelligence of robots that could effectively perform any cognitive task that a human can do. It claims that a robotic system can be automated to actually be a mind, to be intellectual, to understand, be aware, have views, and demonstrate other intellectual states that human beings do. Although this may sound fascinating and exciting for a new invention to be brought into the world with the capability to be replicas of human beings, the questions are “What will the consequences be of introducing robots into the world?" and "How will it affect human beings?".

Specialist (evolved mecha):

“David, I often felt a sort of envy of human beings, of that thing they call 'spirit'. Human beings have created a million explanations of the meaning of life- in art, in poetry, and mathematical formulas. Certainly human beings must be the key to the meaning of existence. But human beings no longer existed.”


The film A.I “Artificial Intelligence”, written and directed by Steven Spielberg is about a boy mecha robot named David that resembles a human child and can project love and affection towards its owners. David lives with Henry and Monica whilst their biological child Martin is placed in a suspended animation until a cure is found for his rare disease. When a cure is found for Martin, he is brought home and a sibling rivalry arises between Martin and David.

While preparing for Martin’s birthday party, Henry informs Monica of his concerns that David may be getting too affectionate towards Monica and questions his capacity for love-
Henry: “Think about this, if he was created to love then it’s reasonable to assume he knows how to hate and if pushed to those extremes what is he really capable of?”

During the party one of Martin’s friend activates David’s self-protection programming and clings onto Martin which leads to them both falling into the pool. While falling into the pool, a heavy David still clings onto Martin but Martin is safely rescued by Henry and two other adults but leave David at the bottom of the pool. If a robot is meant to show love for his family, then David shouldn't have clanged onto Martin knowing that he would of drown. If a human being interfered with a robot’s role in another human’s life, would the robot resort to human-like qualities and do anything they could do to get rid of that human? Clearly, that was the case in the movie A.I. David would do anything just so that Monica would love him again. Another example that exposed David’s excessive love for Monica was when he attempted to cut her hair while she was sleeping just so Monica could love him more. When David is abandoned by Monica, he sets himself on a quest to find the Blue Fairy (in the book Pinocchio) in hopes that she could turn him into a real boy like she did with Pinocchio so that Monica would take him back into her home again. Is it worth the risk to bring robots into our lives not knowing that one day they could have a mind of their own and forget everything we programmed into them?

A.I. Artificial Intelligence - Pool Scene

Ethical Issues

One of the many worries concerning the creation of artificial intelligence is the ethical and moral values. Is it morally correct to generate replicas of human beings? Do our ethical values allow us to recreate intelligence? Intelligence is a gift for mankind. It may not be ethically right to mount intelligence into robots to make it work for our benefits. No artificial intelligence system can show emotions or devotion while working and if it was programmed to display those qualities it wouldn't feel natural or sincere. Imagine being in hospital, no robots can show genuine care and concern while looking after you unlike the doctors and nurses.

If robots began replacing humans in every job field, it would lead to unemployment. People would be left with nothing to do with their lives. Obesity would increase due to laziness and slothfulness. A similar situation like this can be taken from the movie “WALL-E”. It is the year 2805 and humans have been evacuated on the Axiom (a ship) due to the mass amount of garbage that has destroyed Earth. Humans are now living on the Axiom and have become morbidly obese after centuries of depending on the ship’s automated systems for their every need. Not only does bringing artificial intelligence affect our everyday lives but it will also affect our health. The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ study has shown that 63% of Australians are now classified as overweight or obese. The more automated systems being invented for our “benefit”, the higher the percentage of obese people in Australia and across the world. Humans will think that there is no need to perform particular or everyday tasks e.g. choures, going to work and therefore will just lie around the house all day doing nothing useful.

Human dystopia

Cybernetic Revolt

Cybernetic revolt or robot uprising is a scenario in which artificial intelligence decide that human beings are a threat to them and try to destroy the entire human race or enslave them, possibly leading up to “machine rule”. In this fabricated scenario, humans are usually painted to become victorious using “human” like qualities, e.g. emotions, irrationalism inefficiency, deception, unpredictability. But what if cybernetic revolt became real? How would we, as humans defend our species against the inventions that we created? How advanced would artificial intelligence become by the time that happens? Would we be able to defeat AI? Would it be possible to reason with robots using emotions and feelings? Could we trick them into believing things, or would they be more intelligent than us?

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios